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The Required Competencies of Para-Professionals in Library Services of Sarawak State Libraries

Keywords: Competencies , para-professionals , training , libraries , Malaysia.

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Abstract:

Para-professionals in the library services are library associates, library technicians, or library assistants who assist the professional librarians in library-related task. Mining the literature unveiled that studies investigating the required competencies on para-professional are still very limited. To address this gap, this paper reports a study that was conducted with the purpose to identify the required competencies of para-professionals in the library services. Adopting the survey research methodology, data were collected using questionnaires from 502 para-professional librarians working with the Sarawak State Library in Sarawak, Malaysia. The findings suggest that all the seven sets of competencies, namely general competencies; Agency and Organizational Knowledge; Reference and Research; Collection Management; Content Organization and Structure and Library Technology Management are either moderately or highly required by the para-professionals. Based on these findings, the appropriate training needs could be identified.

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